Insitu Inc. announced today that it is conducting field evaluation of two new turrets for its ScanEagle Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). One gives customers better stabilization and situational awareness at high zoom. The other gives customers a new dual imager capability in a small tactical UAS with electro-optic and mid-wave infrared imagers in a single turret. The on-going field evaluation will allow for suitability assessment in the demanding operational environment of Afghanistan while allowing end users an opportunity to shape functionality and features of the turrets prior to full production.
“These new capabilities will markedly enhance the operational effectiveness of the ScanEagle UAS and represent a significant leap in capability from what is already best in class performance,” said Insitu ScanEagle Program Manager Curt Chesnutt.
MWIR/EO Turret Brings Multi-Mission Sorties to Small Tactical UAS
Insitu’s ScanEagle has accrued more than 600,000 combat flight hours with single-imager turrets that carried infrared or electro-optic imagers. Putting ScanEagle’s two most popular imagers in a single turret-an electro-optic camera and a daylight-quality mid-wave infrared imager-gives customers the imagery and persistence they need during any mission.
SuperEO Turret Sees Wide-Area, Close-Up Simultaneously
In response to requests from the warfighter, Insitu fielded Hood Technology Corporation’s new electro-optic (EO) imager nearly a year ago. It provides five times better stabilization than its predecessor and has already accrued more than 2,000 flight hours.
This year, an enhanced version of the stabilization-optimized imager lets operators track, zoom and focus while maintaining positive identification. It blends the combat-proven design of its predecessor with improved optics: A sophisticated gimbal mechanism allows for continuous zoom and focus, and provides for greater image stability at high zoom. Picture in picture display lets customers see close up while maintaining situational awareness. Both turrets will be available in the first half of 2013.
Power draw is reduced in both models, so customers can keep all the payload capacity and endurance that they have come to rely on.
“We have developed new imagers and have completely reinvented our stabilization methods,” said Hood Tech’s founder Dr. Andy von Flotow, “and we expect to achieve further improvements in this class of light-weight turrets.”